Rose is from Cameroon, has a university degree in history, and is a survivor of human trafficking. She was sold as a slave by her cousin with a promise of a teaching job in Kuwait that turned into a nightmare of human exploitation.
When she finally was able to return to Cameroon, she decided to dedicate her life to empower women, raise awareness on various forms of human trafficking, and educate on human rights principles in several urban and rural communities in Cameroon.
With the help of a grant from The Pollination Project she started to organize educational workshops, community sessions, and the production and dissemination of informational materials highlighting the importance of safe migration and how to recognize traffickers. Many victims of human trafficking choose to conceal their past out of fear that they will be shunned or judged. Rose is changing this through her example and courage, inspiring other survivors to tell their stories. Collectively, this is reducing the rate of young girls traveling to the Middle East.
“My entire life has transformed from the day I decided to speak out. I can’t keep count of the number of people who have told me thank you just for listening to my story. A lot of women after listening to me talk, have built their self-esteem and they know they are not alone. It has saved many from falling in the same pit like I did. It is really refreshing to see the smiles on their faces. And for me each time I speak out I feel a scar taken off me.”
The current crisis in the South West Region of Cameroon brings many vulnerable people such as women, young girls and internally displaced persons to look for ways to provide for their families. Lack of information and poverty make them an easy prey for traffickers who exploit them in domestic servitude or sex trafficking.
Human trafficking is a deeply rooted reality in this part of the world, involving cultural and social aspects. The efforts announced and promoted by the institutions to address and mitigate this social plague are not enough and often conflict with strong interests. Once again, individuals are those who make the difference. Victims and witnesses become community leaders and tackle the problem where the state fails to achieve. The Pollination Project exists for them.
“Young women should never stop wanting to transform their lives.Our values and goals to protect and transform women’s lives in the right way should never be up for negotiations.”